Robertson returns to Livingston to lead fight for survival

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The Independent Online

Livingston have appointed John Robertson as their new manager. The former Inverness Caledonian Thistle, Hearts and Ross County coach succeeds Paul Lambert who resigned on Saturday evening in the wake of the 1-0 home defeat to Dunfermline.

Robertson spent four successful years at Almondvale as a player then coach under Davie Hay before landing his first managerial post at Inverness in 2002.

The 41-year-old is the sixth manager to take over at the West Lothian club in around two years after Marcio Maximo, Hay, Allan Preston, Richard Gough and Lambert.

The ex-Hearts and Scotland forward's arrival completes a whirlwind few days for the Livingstone, chairman, Pearse Flynn, who has wasted no time in finding a successor for Lambert.

Robertson is believed to have beaten a host of applicants, including the former Hibernian manager Bobby Williamson and the former Republic of Ireland manager Brian Kerr, to the post.

He has a daunting task to keep the Lions in the Scottish Premier League with the club six points adrift of the Pars at the bottom with just 12 games remaining.

Robertson said: "I'm absolutely delighted that Livingston have honoured me with the chance to manage the club. I had a fantastic period here last time under Jim Leishman and Davie Hay but that is gone now.

"We have the proverbial 12 cup finals to come but this club can stay up and I'm here to make sure they do."

Robertson, who has agreed a deal until May 2008, added: "We had discussions on Tuesday and had a good long chat. The board obviously had other very strong candidates to speak to and I was obviously delighted to get the call from Vivien [Kyles, chief executive] the next day.

"It's now on with the job and I've had a chat with Alex Cleland already to get the battle plans drawn up for Kilmarnock."

Robertson hopes his arrival will give the club an initial lift and believes his previous success in the game proves he can turn Livingstone's fortunes around.

He added: "I had no hesitation in taking the job and being out of the game for a while refreshed me as well. I've taken stock and taken a lot of games in and I'm delighted to be here now."